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Publication numberUS3549193 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 22, 1970
Filing dateNov 18, 1968
Priority dateNov 18, 1968
Publication numberUS 3549193 A, US 3549193A, US-A-3549193, US3549193 A, US3549193A
InventorsHunter George T
Original AssigneeHunter George T
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Spring loaded arm for camping trailer and the like
US 3549193 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor George T. Hunter Howe, Ind. 46746 776,692

Nov. 18, 1968 Dec. 22, 1970 Appl. No. Filed Patented SPRING LOADED ARM FOR CAMPING TRAILER AND THE LIKE 9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 296/23, 296/27; 52/66; 287/86 Int. Cl P60p 3/32 Field of Search 296/23, 26, 27; 52/66; 287/14, 86, 99

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,376,059 4/1968 Corl 287/99 3,403,936 10/1968 Young 296/27 2,978,217 4/1961 Gunderson. 287/86 2,359,554 10/1944 Griswold 287/99 Primary ExaminerPhilip Goodman Attorneys-Hobbs and Green and Kemon, Palmer and Estabrook PATENTEDDECZZIHYU 3.649.193

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GEORGE T. HUNTER ATTORNEY 33 ,5 49 fl ii SIRING LOADED ARM EUR CAMFENG TRAHLER AND THE LllKE The conventional camping trailer consists generally of a body supported on an undercarriage a top which is raised from and lower to a position on the body, folding arms positioned adjacent the four corners or" the body and top. The arm generally consist of an upper section pivoted to the top and a lower section pivoted to the body and a pivot means connecting the two sections. in the past the arms have either been retained in their extended position by a positive acting clamp or fixture or by a spring operated lever which yield ably retains the two arm sections in a substantially straight line when the top is raised and which permits the sections to pivot toward one another when the top is cred. The spring operated type has the advantage over the positive lock type of providing a counter force to the weight of the top for assisting in the raising operation and retaining the aims in their extended position without the use of any additional fastening means. in order for these spring operated types to function effectively, in the past, an exposed angularly positioned lever connecting the spring in one section with the other section, has been used to obtain good mechanical advantage between the spring and the other section. The exposed angularly positioned lever on the prior arms has created a hazard to the one raising and lowering the trailer top, in that as the sections of the arm were extended and folded, the lever closed inwardly onto one section, forming an effective scissor action which could cause serious injury to a hand or arm caught between the lever and the arm section. Further, this lever was always exposed, and in addition to creating the aforementioned hazard, was also unsightly and easily impaired in operation by foreign objects contacting it during movement of the trailer. it is therefore one of the principal objects of the present invention to provide an arm for camping trailers and the like which contains an effective operating spring for assisting in raising the top and holding the top in its raised position, but which is essentially enclosed within the arm structure in all positions of the two sections of the arm.

Another object of the invention is to provide a compact and rugged, jointed arm for camping trailers which is pleasing in appearance and easily maintained in optimum operating condition, and which can readily be installed on most camping trailers without modifying the design or construction thereof.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a camping trailer arm of the aforesaid type in which the operating parts are essentially enclosed in the bodies of the two pivoted sections, and do not pass through any exposed motion likely to cause injury to the operator, andwhich give reliable support to the top when the arm is in its extended position.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings, wherein:

H6 1. is a side elevational view of a campin trailer, showing the top of the trailer in its elevated position and the arms holding the top in their extended position;

PEG. 2. is a side elevational view of the camping trailer shown in PEG 1 with the top in its lowered position and the arms in their folded position;

FIG. 3. is a side elevational and partial vertical cross-sectional view of one of the top-supporting arms, showing the arm in its extended position;

H6. 4 is a side elevational and partial vertical cross-sectional view of one of the top-supporting arms showing the arm in its partially folded position;

FIG 5 is a side elevational and partial vertical cross-sectional view of one of the top-supporting arrns showing in its fully folded position; and

H6. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of one of the arms shown in the preceding lFlGS. illustrating more fully the construction of the operative mechanism.

Referring more specifically to the drawings and to H68. 1 and 2 in particular, numeral ll designates generally a. camping trailer on which the present top-supporting arms are used. Nu-

metal l2 indicates the body of the camping trailer, M the undercarriage on which the body is mounted, M a top movable from the lowered position shown in 2 on the top of body 12 to the elevated position shown in H6. l. The space between the top of body 22 and the underside of top 26 is shown enclosed by a flexible structure Ell of a suitable material such as cloth or a plastic sheet. in the camping trailer illustrated in the two drawings, the ends are provided with extensions 22 and 2d and the sidewalls are provided with windows 26 and 28, and one side is provided with a door 33. The various details of the body and enclosure structure 2b do not form a direct part of the present invention, which is embodied in the four arms generally indicated by numeral ll disposed at the four corners of the trailer. The construction and design of the trailer may be varied from one model to another and arms may be used satisfactorily on a variety of different types of camping trailers having an elevatable top of the type illu trate in the drawings.

The four arms used in the trailer structure illustrated herein are identical to one another, and hence only one will be described in detail. The arm consists of an upper section 42 and a lower section 44, the upper section being connected to top Ed by a pin, screw or bolt extending through hole as in the upper sec "on A2, and the lower end of section .4 being connected to body or a member of the undercarriage M by a pin screw or bolt extending through a hole 458 in the lower end of section id. The two sections are preferably formed of cross sectionally square tubular material, either with or without a longitudinal seam, and may be constructed of steel, aluminum or any other suitable structural material. The adjacent ends of sections 42 and are connected to one another by a pin extending through projecting 'ncm'oer 52 on the side of section 32 and through the margin of members 5 5 and so joined rigidly to the upper end of section 44 on opposite sides thereof. The pin supported in the foregoing manner permits section 42 to fold downwardly with respect to section 44, as illustrated in H03. 5, 5 and d, with members 54 and 56 forming merely an extension of sections 44 and a support for section 32. Member 82 pivots freely on pin 5b between the members 54 and 56.

A spring so is utilized to assist in raising the top 16 from its lowered position, shown in Fifi 2, to raised position, shown in MG l, and for retaining each arm in its extended position so that the arms will hold the top in the raised position without any additional locking or latching means being required on the arms. Spring 66 is disposed in the hollow interior of section 4 3 and is anchored to a sleeve or bolt 62 extending through the lower end of section and is connected to the lower end of section 42 by a linkage d4 consisting of a lever 66 connected at one end to the upper end of spring 6% and to a lever 68, which in turn is connected to the lower end of section 4-2 by a pin mounted in a bracket Ill in the lower end of section 4-2 and extending through a hole in the end of lever 68. The two levers and 68 are pivotedly connected to one another and to section by pin 7%, which forms an upper anchor point of linkage spaced laterally from pivot pin 5d, and hence the force of spring tends to pull the inner end of section downwardly thus urges the two sections into alignment with one another.

As illustrated in HG, l, the inner end of section 42 swings outwardly from the axis of section 44 as the sections are moved between their folded and unfolded positions. With the present linkage, consisting of the two interconnected levers 66 and 68, the inner edge of the linkage is not at any time exposed in a manner which would permit the levers to form an effective scissor action in conjunction with the side of one of the sections, as is permitted by the conventional type of support arm. Lever es remains enclosed in section id and only lever 68 swings outwardly as the arm is folded, and this lever is substantially enclosed throughout the folding operation, by members 554 and which form, in effect, a shroud along the sides of lever thus elimii. l hazard which might otherwise result from operation of the linkage dur- BEST AVAILABLE COPY ing the folding and unfolding of the'arm. In order to balance the operation of levers 66 and 68, lever 66 consists of a single member, whereas lever 68 consists of two parallel members secured on either side of member 66. Lever 68 extends through a slot 74 in the upper end of section 44, and, when the arm is in folded or partially folded position, the lever extends through the open top of section 44. When the arm is in its extended position, the two sections are in alignment with one another. Since pivot pin 50 connecting the two sections of the arm is offset from the center line of the spring, the spring constantly urges the two levers into full alignment and tends to hold the two sections in the alignment after the top has been raised. The downward force of the top on the arm tends to hold the arm in its extended position, thus resulting in a r'irm, dependable support for the top until it is intentionally lowered.

In the operation of the arm installed on the trailer as illustrated in FlGS. l and 2, the top 16 is lifted, usually by raising one end at a time. As the top is raised, the two arm sections pivot away from one another and the pivoting action is assisted by the force of spring 60 acting through linkage 64 on the inner end of section 42. The springs are preferably of such -strength that the weight of the top which must be lifted manually is relatively light. As soon as one end of top 16 is fully raised and the corresponding arms on opposite sides of the trailer are fully extended, the other end of the top is raised, thus permitting the respective arm to become fully extended. With the top raised and the four arms fully extended, the top is retained firmly in its elevated position by the action of springs 60 in each of the arms. In view of the offset position of pivot pin 50 connecting the two sections 42 and 44, a toggle action is in effect created between the two sections so that the weight of the top does not tend to collapse the arms. The alignment of the two sections is also firmly maintained by the action of spring 60 urging section 42 in a counterclockwise direction in all positions, including the fully aligned position illustrated in FIG. 3. When top 16 is to be lowered, the arms are merely pressed out of alignment, thus permitting the weight of the top to fold the arms downwardly to the fully lowered position of top 16. The lowering of the top may likewise be accomplished by first lowering one end and folding two of the arms while the other two arms remain in their fully extended position.

In embodiment of the present spring loaded arm, the tubular sections are shown as being cross-sectionally square. However, round tubular members may be used in place of those shown, and members 54 and 56, which are shown welded or otherwise secured as independent members to the sides of section 44, may be formed integrally with the section from the same piece of stock. While various shapes may be used for members 54 and 56, they perform the function of as a shroud to substantially embrace lever 68 when the arm is being folded to prevent the operators hand or fingers from becoming inserted between the lever and one of the sections, thus preventing accidental injury to the operator. These shroud members may be made sufficiently large to fully embrace the outer ends of the levers adjacent pin 7!). Further, the arms may be installed between two panels forming sides of the vehicle, or may be folded into covers or shrouds on the sides of the vehi cle body when the top is lowered.

Further changes and modifications may be made in the arm structure without departing from the scope of the present invention.

I claim:

It. A foldable arm for camping trailers and the like having a body and a top movable from a position on the body to a position spaced thereabove, said arm comprising an upper and lower section, a pivot means connecting said sections along one side near the adjacent ends for angular movement of the sections from a parallel position to a position with an included angle therebetween of less than a spring in one of said sections with one end supported therein, a linkage connecting the other end of said spring with said other section at a pivot point within said other section near the adjacent end thereof, a

lateral enclosure for said linkage in substanmeans forming a tially all positions thereof during the folding and unfolding operations of the arm.

2. A foldable arm as defined in claim 1 in which one end of said spring is anchored near the end of the respective arm p opposite said linkage.

3. A foldable arm as defined in claim 1 in which said linkage includes two levers pivotally connected together near the middle of said linkage, and one end of one lever is connected to the spring and the other end of the other lever is connected to the other section adjacent the side of said other section opposite the side on which the said pivot means is located.

4. A foldable arm as defined in claim 2 in which said linkage includes two levers pivotally connected together near the middle of said linkage and one end of one lever is connected to the spring and an end of the other lever is connected to the other section adjacent the side of said other section opposite the side on which the said pivot means is located.

5. A foldable arm as defined in claim 1 in which said means forming an enclosure consists of two members mounted on the section containing said spring and overlapping the adjacent end of said other section.

6. A foldable arm as defined in claim 4 in which said means forming an enclosure consists of two members mounted on the section containing said spring and overlapping the adjacent end of said other section.

7. A foldable arm as defined in claim 4 in which one of said levers of the linkage is a single barlike member and the other of said levers is a pair of barlike members positioned on opposite sides of i said first lever adjacent the connection therebetween.

8. A foldable arm as defined in claim 1 in which said sections are of a square tubular cross-sectional construction.

9. A foldable arm as defined in claim 4 in which said sections are of a square tubular cross-sectional construction.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5567003 *Apr 29, 1994Oct 22, 1996Damon Ventures, LlcTent camper with slide-out room
Classifications
U.S. Classification296/173, D12/104, 403/111, 52/66
International ClassificationB60P3/34, B60P3/32
Cooperative ClassificationB60P3/341
European ClassificationB60P3/34B